welcome to the Wedding Planning Blog!

Planning a wedding can be the single most stressful thing you ever do. So why try to do it alone? This wedding planning blog will be your helpful assistant and provide you with wedding ideas, planning tips and some peace of mind during this wonderful and stressing time of your life. You only get married for the first time, once, so plan your wedding to be the best wedding!

November 23 2013

Planning your own wedding

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Planning your own wedding
You’re in love, you’re engaged and now you’ve got wedding planning on the brain. Deciding to hire a wedding planner or going the route of planning your wedding yourself is a big decision.

DIY vs. Wedding Planner
Planning your own wedding is not for the faint of heart. It requires organization, attention to detail and a lot of your time. A wedding planner’s job is to give you advice, keep you within budget and make sure your wedding day goes off without a hitch. Although it would be nice to have someone to take care of all of the details, sometimes brides just can’t afford it. Planning a wedding yourself lets you save thousands of dollars and put it towards other aspects of your wedding.

Getting Started in Your Wedding Planning
Before you can start looking at venues and dress shopping the most important thing you must do is create a budget. Outline how much you can afford and what you think you should spend on each item. Having a list of everything you need in to budget for gives you an idea of what has to be organized. Keeping lists and staying organized right from the beginning makes the entire planning process easier and it also makes everything a little less stressful.

Planning your Wedding on a Timeline
This outlines the timeline of your wedding planning and everything you must remember to include before the big day.

After the engagement
Decide on a date
Set your budget
Choose your theme and colors
Decide who will be in your wedding party
Decide the size of the wedding and start a guest list
Choose your wedding dress and you bridesmaids’ dresses
Research and choose ceremony and wedding venues

6 months before the wedding
Make plans for catering, favors and reception décor
Finalize guest list
Hire florist, music, photographer and/or videographer

3 months before the wedding
Order and address invitations
Reserve groom and groomsmen’s tuxedos

2 months before the wedding
Consult with photographer about the photo details for your wedding day
Decide on the music you want at the wedding
Purchase guestbook, flower girl basket, ring bearer pillow etc.
Mail invitations

1 month before the wedding
Organize the rehearsal dinner
Finalize agreements with vendors and suppliers
Attend wedding dress fitting
Apply for your marriage license

3 weeks before the wedding
Arrange transportation for you, your fiancé and the rest of the bridal party

2 weeks before the wedding
Confirm number of guests with the caterer
Develop a seating plan and create place cards for the reception dinner
Arrange how your wedding gifts will be transported to you after the reception

1 week before the wedding
Inform your wedding party of the schedule of events
Have your final wedding dress fitting
Final confirmation of plans with all of your vendors
Confirm your plans with the officiant of your wedding ceremony

Starting out with a budget and staying organized the entire time is the best way to ensure that planning your wedding will be less stressful and still go smoothly.

November 03 2013

Marriage Is a Picnic After All!

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Short on cash or big on the idea of a casual, family friendly outdoor wedding?

The Perfect Picnic Wedding

Perfect if you are getting married in a park, backyard, or a tiny old church set in a big grassy field…

Tiny Church Wedding

You could have a very small private ceremony in the church and then celebrate with a larger party of guests waiting to receive you outside. For a list of small churches in the US please visit roadsideamerica.com (image above is from this site).

Picnic Wedding Essentials

One of the most important items you will need – picnic blankets! Stick with tradition and pick red and white checkers, or find fabric that matches your wedding colors and make your own (you may find it less expensive to buy a large bolt of fabric and make your own anyways). You can buy the handmade one below at etsy.com for around $20 (and she offers a discount if you purchase more than one). These blankets could double as a wedding favor for each family that attends as well (you might have to come up with a contest to figure out who gets to take the blanket home for mixed picnic groups).

Handmade all natural picnic blanket

Deluxe Picnic

I wasn’t able to find a caterer in the US that provides this service, but in the UK you can pick up a biodegradable picnic basket filled with treats from the Arch House Deli in Bristol for less than $20 per person (converted from British pounds). Perhaps you could find a local catering company that would provide the picnic blankets and a picnic basket packed with goodies for each group of guests (let me know if you find any companies that do that!).

Picnic Event Tips

Don’t forget to be considerate of older guests and offer cushions as well as normal seating if necessary.

Provide picnic themed activities to keep the kids busy.

This cute picnic basket from bestpricetoys.com will be fun for younger children.

Picnic basket toy

Plan for the weather

Bring large sun umbrellas, gazebos, and a play tent like the one below from Ikea to offer children some shade (or a quiet place to nap). You might want to bring something to weigh down the blankets if there is a chance that it will be windy. Make sure sunscreen and plenty of water is available for the guests.

Ladybug play tent

October 30 2013

The There Goes My Independence, Independence Day Party

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Getting Married Soon?

An Independence Day Bachelor Party

Why? Well, July 4th usually involves outdoor fun, barbecued food, and beer so it sounds like a perfect day to get the guys together and celebrate your groom-to-be’s independence one last time. Here are some ideas…

Patriotic Spots to Celebrate

If the groom is a history buff, this is the perfect opportunity to take him on a weekend that celebrates his heritage while you celebrate his impending wedding. Tripadvisor.com lists top 10 Patriotic Attractions, here are my picks:

Freedom Trail (Boston Massachusetts)

“Boston’s Freedom Trail is a two-and-a-half mile path through 16 significant U.S. historical sites where Revolutionary War heroes fought for U.S. independence, including the site of the Boston Massacre, the Old State House and Bunker Hill Monument, to name a few” (tripadvisor.com).

Mount Rushmore (Keystone, South Dakota)

“A famous 60-foot mountainside carving created by sculptor Gutzon Borglum and completed in 1941 pays homage to the most influential U.S. presidents in our country’s first 150 years: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt” (tripadvisor.com).

Revolutionary Refreshments

It doesn’t matter what you serve as long as you grill it and then stick it with a lot of American flag toothpicks!

American flag toothpicks in burgers for July 4

Barbecuing is as American as, well… apple pie!

the perfect Independence day dessert, apple pie!

Patriot Games

Don’t forget to organize some games. This truly American football is available from carnivalimports.com (irony somewhat intended).

American flag football

The baseball is from chinawholesalegift.com.

American flag baseball Independence Day games and fun

Clubplanet.com lists 5 different drinking games for the 4th of July.

All American Stories

End off the night (or the next morning) with an All-American movie perfect for some all-American guys: Saving Private Ryan, The Outsiders, American Pie, Dazed and Confused, Animal House… whatever suits your group of friends the best (any other suggestions?).

Don’t Forget Your Independ-pants

…and shirt, and shoes…

This cool shirt is from onlinesports.com.

American Flag Bowling Shirt

You might also consider throwing your stagette or bachelorette (or Jack and Jill party) on Independence Day!

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October 26 2013

Bachelorette Theme: On the Prowl

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On the Prowl For a Cute Bachelorette Theme?

We’ve featured a lot of great themes, so if this Kitty theme isn’t up your alley, check out your sweet Gummy Bear theme, Crafty theme, or 1950′s theme. Check out the tabs on the right for great ideas for Jack and Jill parties, bridal showers, and stags, too.

This Kitty theme is an example of how you can get inspired by one key decoration, like these napkins from partymakerdiscountsuperstore.com. You can come up with your own unique party theme by browsing around until you find one color, design, or one decoration piece that inspires you – then develop the whole party from there.

Smitten Kitten

Dress the bride-to-be up in this purrfectly cute kitty costume from costumecraze.com.

Bachelorette Hen Party Costome Sexy Kitty

Cat Crew

The main kitty’s entourage can wear these cute hot pink ear/tail sets so everyone knows you are a group (also available from costumecraze.com).

Hot Pink Cat Ears and Tail Set for Bachelorette Party

Drink Pink

Design a pink cocktail in honor of your party and give it a suitable name. Or, use one of the many recipes already out there- just make sure your drink is hot pink!

Hot Pink Martini in glass

Fun and Games

Serve a kitty litter cake (perfect if your group of friends are ‘potty-mouths’). Here is an example from wendychao.com (visit the website for her recipe).

Cake served in kitty litter pan with tootsie roll poop

Bring along a cat paw stamp and a hot pink ink pad and give it to the guest of honor- anyone caught being “catty” gets stamped! (Pictured below: stamp from stampmillaz.com.)

Bachelorette Game: Rubber Stamp for Catty Party Guests

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October 18 2013

World Wide Weddings: Germany

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Today we start a new continuing feature here at weddingsetups.com: a look at wedding traditions from around the world. You can use these articles to honor your family’s heritage during your wedding ceremony, wherever it takes place. Or, you can celebrate the bride or groom’s culture during a pre-wedding party (an article with ideas for these parties will follow).

German Wedding Traditions

Festive Felony

In the smaller villages, the bride may be ‘kidnapped’. The groom looks for her in the local pubs, often picking up the tab for all of the customers or inviting them along in the search.

Housewrecker

There is a house party before the wedding that ends with all of the dishes getting smashed for good luck. The “lucky” bride and groom have to clean up the mess.

German Wedding Food

The bride and groom snack on bread when they first arrive at their home after the wedding, to symbolize that they will never go hungry.

Wedding Cake

The traditional wedding cake is Baumkuchen, which is often made in stacked rings but can also come in the shape of a rectangular cake or small squares. The one below is from konditorei-werner.de, warning: if you visit this site it will make you want to fly to Germany for some dessert!

German Wedding Attire

Tasty Accessories

Traditionally, the bride carries bread and salt to symbolize a good harvest and the groom carries grain, which is a symbol for good luck and health. This is also an aspect of traditional Polish Weddings, to read all about them please visit polishwedding.blogspot.com – a very useful and informative source. Photo: Polishwedding.blogspot.com.

Yes, but how far can you throw it?

In Germany the bride passes her veil on to the next woman to be married, rather than throwing the bouquet.

German Wedding Decorations

Sharing a Cup

Another tradition is for the bride and groom to drink from a special cup that lets them both drink at the same time. This is based on the “Legend of the Maiden Bridal Cup” and you can buy one of the beautiful cups at mayhemltd.com.This cup would also make a thoughful gift to the bride from the groom. The cup, and it’s beautiful story could also be used to propose!

Flower Horse Power

In Germany, real flowers are used to decorate the cars, rather than the ribbons, bows, and plastic flowers often used in North America.

Important German Words

Wedding: Hochzeit

Bride: Braut

Groom: Brautigam

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